Books

The odd couple: John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald

13 March 2021 9:00 am

On a shard of paper, some time in the bleak mid-1930s, F. Scott Fitzgerald incorporated a favourite line from one…

Women of the streets: Hot Stew, by Fiona Mozley, reviewed

13 March 2021 9:00 am

For a novel set partly in a Soho brothel, Hot Stew is an oddly bloodless affair. Tawdry characters drift in…

Peru’s beauty has been a real curse

13 March 2021 9:00 am

As the planet gets more and more ravaged, the mind can begin to glaze over at the cumulative general statistics…

Edward Said — a lonely prophet of doom

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Even Edward Said would not have claimed to be ‘the 20th century’s most celebrated intellectual’. But neither was he ‘Professor of Terror’, says Justin Marozzi

Chips Channon’s diaries can read like a drunken round of Consequences

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Chips Channon was conceited, snobbish, disloyal, voyeuristic and wrongheaded – all qualities most helpful to a great diarist, says Craig Brown

Walls go up after the Berlin Wall comes down

6 March 2021 9:00 am

In her 2017 travelogue Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, the writer and poet Kapka Kassabova meets Emel,…

The robot as carer: Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro, reviewed

6 March 2021 9:00 am

The world of Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel — let’s call it Ishville — is instantly recognisable. Our narrator, Klara, is…

Why autocracy in Russia always fails in the end

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Churchill was wrong: Russia is neither a riddle nor an enigma. Russians themselves concoct endless stories to glorify their country’s…

My father, the tyrant: Robert Edric describes a brutal upbringing

6 March 2021 9:00 am

In a career stretching back to the mid-1980s, Robert Edric has so far managed a grand total of 28 novels,…

Ghosts in a landscape: farming life through the eyes of Thomas Hennell

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Thomas Hennell is one of that generation of painters born in 1903 whose collective achievements are such an adornment of…

Why the first self-help book is still worth reading: The Anatomy of Melancholy anatomised

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Footling around on the internet recently, I stumbled on a clip of a young woman singing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ to…

‘Britain’s Dreyfus Affair’: a very nasty village scandal

6 March 2021 9:00 am

It has been described as Britain’s Dreyfus Affair — the wrongful imprisonment in 1903 of a half-Indian solicitor George Edalji…

In the land of the blind

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Somehow, American culture has got itself into a terrible mess of division and acrimony: elites against mainstream, progressives against conservatives,…

Savage aperçus: Fake Accounts, by Lauren Oyler, reviewed

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Lauren Oyler is viral and vicious. A critic with a reputation for pulling no punches, she is known for delivering…

Algeria’s War of Independence still leaves festering wounds, two new novels reveal

27 February 2021 9:00 am

In France, even the car horns yelled about Algeria. A five-beat klaxon blast — three short, two long — signalled…

All good friends and jolly good company: life with the Crichel Boys

27 February 2021 9:00 am

In the spring of 1945 three men pooled their resources in order to buy Long Crichel House, a former rectory…

Labour of love: producing the perfect loaf

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Wheat flour, and the bread made from it, has been a recurring cause of concern for the British for centuries,…

Hellcat on the loose: Samantha Markle rants about Meghan

27 February 2021 9:00 am

A while ago, Samantha Markle declared that her forthcoming book would be about ‘the beautiful nuances of our lives’. Was…

Joan Didion’s needle-sharp eye never fails

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Most collections of journalism are bad. There are two reasons for this: one is that they are usually incoherent and…

Up close and personal: voices from the Great War, week by week

27 February 2021 9:00 am

As the Great War unfolds, voices we don’t usually hear describe with a terrible raw honesty the realities of their experience, says David Crane

In the trenches

20 February 2021 9:00 am

I can hardly recall a more engaging and uplifting biography than this life of Major-General William Holmes, who was killed…

A Romeo and Juliet-like tragedy in Uttar Pradesh

20 February 2021 9:00 am

In the early hours of 28 May 2014 the bodies of two young girls were found hanging from the branches…

Gabriel Matzneff: the paedophile who hid in plain sight

20 February 2021 9:00 am

Until this book was published, Gabriel Matzneff was a respectable man. The French author may have written about his affairs…

The stuff of fiction: Elizabeth Bowen exploits her extra-marital affairs

20 February 2021 9:00 am

Lara Feigel tells of the passion, pain and sexual exploitation involved in Elizabeth Bowen’s affair with a young married scholar

The true diplomat considers the future more than the present

20 February 2021 9:00 am

The 17th-century diplomat Sir Henry Wotton said that an ambassador was ‘an honest man sent to lie abroad for his…